If it floats, it’s a boat and must be checked for aquatic invasive species at check stations around Washington State, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Aquatic invasive species, says WDFW, includes well-known ones like Eurasian water milfoil and zebra mussels as well as lesser-known invasives that pose an ongoing threat to Washington’s environment and economy. Invasive species can damage irrigation and water systems, clog hydroelectric dam intakes, reduce fishing opportunities, and out-compete native plants and animals. Penalties for transporting aquatic invasive species in Washington include up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000. Inspections are required for all motorized and non-motorized watercraft, including paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, as well as other boats, during the boating season at check stations.  More info at Wdfw.wa.gov/ais. //

 

[Feature photo: S. Michael Bennett]